1950 - 1959 (inclusive)


Sudan - Definitives

1 September 1951

17 values in total, 1 value featuring giraffe

The 1951 Sudan Definitives
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Sudan had been a colony of the United Kingdom since 1899. Initially being served by overprinted stamps from Egypt (then itself a colony), in March 1898 its own Camel Postman stamps were issued - designed by a Captain Stanton from Kitchener’s Army whilst fighting to recapture Khartoum, they featured an image of a postman delivering the post on the back of a camel which was to become iconic in Sudan’s postage history.
When, in 1951, a definitive issue was introduced 16 new values were introduced, of which the 3 piastre stamp features a giraffe, and in deference to its status the Camel Postman graced the highest value stamp, the 50 piastre. Complete sets catalogue at around £70.00 mint and £20.00 used.

Angola - Wildlife

15 August 1953

20 values in total, 1 value featuring giraffe

The 1953 Angola animals series
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A Portuguese colony until 1975, in 1953 Angola issued two long sets, one featuring bird life and the other, this set, featuring wild life.
The series features a variety of Angolan wildlife, including lion, hippo and like, and the giraffe features on the highest value, the 20 Angolares (the currency between 1928 and 1958, sandwiched between usage of the Angolan Escudo). A complete mint set catalogues for around £35.00, used for around £5.00, and should in both cases be widely available for considerably less than those figures.

Northern Rhodesia - Definitives


14 values in total, all values featuring giraffe

The 1953 Northern Rhodesia definitives
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The Northern Rhodesians clearly figured that Elizabeth II was going to hang around, as unlike George VI they issued a new set of definitives with her face on in the same year as her coronation, rather than waiting to be sure. Again, the same design, although this time the Queen’s profile faces left, full details of the colours and values of which can be found in the complete list.
Various of some of these stamps exist with the overprint of an “R”, but they are not significant enough to warrant separate coverage.

Kenya Uganda Tanganyika - Definitives

1 June 1954

14 values in total, 2 values featuring giraffe

The 1954 Kenya Uganda Tanganyika Definitives
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From 1935 to 1961 all postal matters for the colonies of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika were handled by the East African Posts and Telecommunications Administration. Previous definitives had been issued for both George V and George VI, but none of the designs featured giraffe. When the definitives for Elizabeth II were issued in 1954 two of the fourteen values featured and same design, of a giraffe browsing at a tree, not disimilar to the well-known Nyassan image. Full details of the designs, values and current prices can be found in the complete list.

Union of South Africa - Definitives

14 October 1954

14 values in total, 1 value featuring giraffe

The 1954 Union of South Africa Definitives
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The Union of South Africa (today the Repbulic of South Africa) had got by using the same stamps for almost 30 years, and in 1954 issued its first definitive series, featuring simple images of native animals. As with South West Africa (featured below) the official language of the state was English, but Afrikaans was more widely spoken, and thus the stamps featured both “South Africa” and “Suid-Afrika”, and “Postage” and “Posgeid”.
Also in common with the South West Africa Defintiives issued in the same year, eight stamps from the series (including the giraffe value) were subsequently reissued with a watermark of the South African coat of arms, in place of the springbok’s head watermark on the original series.
Certain of the values from this series would subsequently be reissued in as part of the new decimal definitives upon decimalisation in 1961, details of which can be found here.

South West Africa - Definitives


12 values in total, 1 value featuring giraffe

The 1954 South West Africa Definitives
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What is today the Republic of Namibia has had an interesting political history - a Germany colony until the First World War, it was (as with Tanganyika before it) declared a League of Nations Mandate territory. It was then supposed to become a United Nations Trust Territory, but South Africa, who had administered it since it became a Mandate Territory, objected, and refused to allow the territory independence, treating it as a province of South Africe despite never being incorporated as such. This situation continued until the territory became the independent Republic of Namibia in 1990.
The definitive series featured twelve values in total, one of which, the 4d, features a giraffe and elephant design from the Twyfelfontein cave paintings which were to feature in their own issue in 1974, more details of which can be seen here, and again in a Namibian issue in 2008 detailed here. All of the stamps feature the name of the region in English (the official language as South West Africa, and in Afrikaans, the most commonly-spoken language, as Suidwes-Afrika. Full details of the designs and values in the issue can be found in the complete list.
Five values from this series, including the giraffe value, were re-issued with a different watermark (the South African coat of arms as opposed to a springbok’s head) in 1960.

Cameroon / Republic Francaise de Cameroun - Airmail stamps


3 values in total, 1 value featuring giraffe

The 1955 Cameroun Airmail series
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Cameroon was, in 1955, still a French colony, and issued three airmail stamps on the theme “Natural Resources”. The lowest value featured the forest of Edeka, the middle value featured three giraffes in the wild, and the highest value featured the Port of Douala. Each was drawn by famous French artists, respectively Jean Pheulpin, Claude Hertenberger and Henry Lucien Cheffer.
Hertenberger was responsible for a number of stamps issued by France and its colonies around the time, including Morocco and Somalia, but I believe this is the only one featuring giraffes. Along with other French colony stamps issued around the time (Mali, for example) they are great miniature paintings.

Germany (Federal Republic / West) - Centenary of Frankfurt Zoo

7 May 1958

1 value only

The 1958 Germany Centenary of Frankfurt Zoo issue
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As one might expect from its description, this stamp was issued to celebrate the centenary of the founding of Frankfurt Zoo - I believe that this is the first non-African stamp to feature a giraffe.
The stamp, which was designed by A. and G. Haller, features a stylised giraffe’s neck and head, along with a stylised lion in the background, with the words “100 Jahre Zoologischer Garten Frankfurt (Main)” running up the left side and along the top of the stamp, its value in numbers in white in the top right hand corner, and Deutsche Bundrespost running downwards along the right hand side to the bottom right hand corner. It is exceedingly common, and thus exceedingly cheap to collect.

Belgian Congo - Wild Animals

15 October 1959

12 values in total, 1 value featuring giraffe

The 1959 Belgian Congo Animals issue
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A series of twelve stamps designed by Jean van Noten, a famous Belgian painter, stamp designer and tapestry designer, who was responsible for a number of stamps from African countries, including Senegal, and printed on paper with silk thread by Corvoisier S. A. in La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland.
The stamps had a relatively short shelf-life, as Congo gained independence from Belgium in the following year on 30 June 1960, and this (and another) definitive series were issued as overprints - as it is a relatively unusual overprint it merits its own separate entry and is covered in more detail here.
Full details of the issue are in the complete list - in short the giraffe appears on the 2 franc value.

Niger - Wild animals and birds


12 values in total, 2 values featuring giraffe

The 1959 Niger Animals issue
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Originally a French colony, Niger became an autonomous state within the French Fifth Republic on December 4 1958, and in celebration of the first anniversary of this assumption of independence (although full independence wouldn’t come until 3 August 1960) a series of stamps on the theme of the protection of Wildlife were issued. As with many French colonies the stamps were paintings carried out by French artists.
There is a degree of confusion over how many values feature in the set - some sources say 12, other 14 and others 16. From what I can gather the definitive answer is that the original series was 12 stamps (the 1F and 2F crowned cranes, the 5F and 7F saddle-bill storks, the 15F and 20F wild sheep, the 25F and 30F giraffes, the 50F and 60F ostriches, and the 85F and 100F lions).
To those can be added two values (the 50c and the 10F manatee values) issued three years later, and two airmail values (the 200F carmine bee-eater and the 500F featuring various game animals). Finally, just to add to the complication, the 100F lion was reused, overprinted with a new value of 200F, to celebrate the first anniversary of independence in August 1960.
As mentioned, the giraffe values are the 25F and the 30F values - the former was issued on 18 December 1959, and the latter followed it on 22 February 1960. They were engraved by Albert Decaris, as were the sheep on the 15F and 20F values - other designs were by George Bétemps (the 1F, 2F, 5F and 7F), Robert Cami (the 50F, 60F, 85F and 100F). All the values feature the name "R Subert", presumably the engraver, and full details of all the values, their catalogue numbers, prices, colours and designs are in the complete list.

Also rans between 1950 and 1959

I am not aware of any issues between 1950 and 1959 where the inclusion of a giraffe was so ancillary as to not merit inclusion in the above list. If you know of any, please email me.
As far as I am aware, the information on this page is complete and accurate, and there are were no other giraffe-related stamps issued between 1950 and 1959 (inclusive). If you spot any missing issues, errors, inaccuracies, or have any information that could be added to that contained in these pages then please don’t hesitate to email me at info@giraffestamps.co.uk.